Last week, Xi Jinping made his first trip out of China for almost 1,000 days, travelling first to Kazakhstan and then to Uzbekistan where he meet with his ”no limit friend” Vladimir Putin.
Putin came to the meeting weakened by Russia’s setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine, here illustrated by cartoonist Niklas ”@Kludd-Niklas” Eriksson as arriving in a blown out tank turret rather than a shining fighter jet.
The drawing also shows Xi Jinping doubting his diplomatic ally due to the means of transportation. This seems to reflect the real situation, as Putin during last week’s meeting expressed understanding for China’s ”questions and concerns” regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It wasn’t specified, however, whether those concerns are moral doubts on the war itself or just disappointment on the Russian military’s inability to win it, despite all the money injected into Putin’s war chest from Chinese oil imports and the diplomatic backup it enjoys from Beijing.
At any rate, Xi is clearly not impressed with the performance of his ally, and any further strains in the relationship between the two main actors in the new ”Axis of Evil” will indeed be worth keeping an eye on.
This week’s cartoon can be viewed in full size via here.
A full collection of Kludd-Niklas’ works for Kinamedia can be seen via this link.